Should love be conditional?

This month’s inequality question was ‘Should love be conditional on how you behave’.

By the end of the live debate the debate had received 70 responses and was viewed 583 times! People chose to answer the question in relation to different types of love, some about parents and children, others about romantic relationships. Opinion was very divided about whether love should be conditional or unconditional, some people thought it depended on the situation.

Those who thought love should be conditional said that:

“Love is conditional. You love people for a reason, most people loved ones are family and friends who have helped and supported you in life. You don’t love strangers because they haven’t done anything to prove they deserve love”- Nick

“The way you act affects the way someone feels about you. You have to be too careful with other peoples emotions”- Deny, Kenya

“Yes, because it will help give a limit on where it ends and this helps someone to avoid some emerging negative consequences – Mather

“Its good to base on behaviour to love someone because if we love them and yet they behave differently the one who behaves badly will not realize” – Kulaba, Uganda

“YES, because it helps us to give maximum respect to the people at home and those around us”Martha, Uganda

“Its good to have some conditions on love because others take others for granted.” – Kabaale, Uganda

These quotes show that some people feel love should be conditional as it helps others learn how to behave respectfully and appreciate why they are loved. Others feel that love must be conditional as we do not love everyone in the way we would if love was truly unconditional.

Others thought love should be unconditional

“Love is unconditional. Anything else and it is not love. Even when people make bad choices/decisions, you still love them…. – there has to be boundaries but not conditions otherwise you are not loving the person for who they truly are.” Megan

“No…love can’t be conditional. You can’t withdraw love even if you feel sad or exasperated by the people you love.” – Hazel, UK

“If anything someone who is not ‘behaving well’ whatever that may be needs more love rather than less! All of us need love and those who act like they deserve it the least, need it the most. So we should always strive to love unconditionally even if it sometimes feels impossible.” – Larissa

“If you love me on condition my behaviour is negative to you” – Emma, Uganda

“When you love someone you don’t need to put a condition because it brings attitude”Elijah, Uganda

“Yes there should be equal love however for those that behave badly should be talked to to change but give them love”Setuba, Uganda

“No love shouldn’t be conditional because everyone makes a mistake” – Musa, Uganda

Some people thought that love should be unconditional even when people make mistakes or behave badly. Some even thought that people who make mistakes need the most love and need help to change for the better. Others thought that love should be unconditional because if your love has conditions others may think of you negatively.

Some people found it hard to choose

“I want to say no, real love should be unconditional. But the answer has to be yes. With love there has to be respect, kindness and consideration. We can forgive some behaviours of those we love, but only when we are shown love back.”- Jane

“Love should not be conditional but there are consequences to bad behaviour. Loving someone sometimes requires hard decisions and putting in boundaries when behaviour is unacceptable. But these lines should be clear and reasonable allowing the person to make different choices and not decisions made in anger. When you love someone you want to do the best for them”Lis

“If you behave well love should be free but if you misbehave your love should be limited and conditional …” – Patrick, Uganda

“Some people to love others you don’t base on behaviour but sometimes on relationships like mother and child they sometimes base on a child’s performance at school” – William, Uganda

“Love should not be conditional. However, in some cases, people need to reconsider it. If some people behave badly or unstably for society, you may not be able to love truly. In that case, you should not just ignore and not love the people but you can just teach them how to behave.” Marin, Japan

Some people who couldn’t decide whether love should be conditional based on behaviour or not felt that whilst love shouldn’t need to be conditional in most cases, at times when a person behaves in an unacceptable way towards you, love for that person may change or they may need to change before you can love them fully.

Other people who couldn’t decide said that love depends on the circumstance and people may have unconditional love in one relationship but not in another, for example having a different relationship with your partner compared to your children.


Throughout the debate it was good to see a variety of views from people across the world, this month we reached people in 5 countries and 3 continents!

Interestingly, this debate had less answers than last month’s despite it having far more views. We would like to know why this might be and so if you have any feedback about this month’s question or debate we would love to know!

Related Post

leave a comment